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Borneo Is Burning (cnn.com)
32 points by esalazar 4 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

The palm oil shouldn't be cheap. It should be very expensive, because there should be regulation limiting its production to sustainable methods.

I agree wholeheartedly. The big question is: how to make such regulations actually work?

Create an international cap-and-trade network where American companies can purchase "pollution credits" from Indonesian farmers. The credits would be used to clear land sustainably. The scheme would be designed in such a way that the mitigated Indonesian pollution far outweighs the American pollution enabled through such a scheme. Naturally, it would be cheaper for Indonesian farmers to clear land sustainably than for American companies to pollute less (some are hitting a wall with current anti-pollution technology).

After Indonesia reaches a certain GDP-per-capita, its own companies would be subjected to progressively higher restrictions on pollution. At that point, Indonesian companies themselves would be paying companies in less developed nations (Laos, Rwanda) for the right to pollute.

At the same time palm oil is used a lot on SEAsia and not everyone there is wealthy.

That said a lot of the blame can be placed at the feet of “health food” trends that are not based on good science.

> People are choking. Animals are dying.

> This is no ordinary fire. It was lit for you.

> Farmers are clearing land the fastest way they know how to cash in on growing demand for palm oil, which is used in half of all supermarket products, from chocolate to shampoo.

So do I now have to boycott palm oil? Why can't people just produce things sustainably?

It always gets down to money. We need to find financial carrots and sticks to affect change whilst keeping in mind that carrots are always better than sticks.

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